Es’hail-2: First Geostationary Satellite with Amateur Radio Transponders Successfully Deployed
Today SpaceX have successfully launched and deployed the Es'hail-2 satellite which is now in geostationary orbit. This launch is special for amateur radio enthusiasts because it is the first geostationary satellite that contains an amateur radio transponder on it. The satellite is positioned at 25.5°E which is over Africa. It will cover Africa, Europe, the Middle East, India, eastern Brazil and the west half of Russia/Asia. Unfortunately, North America, Japan, most of South America, Australia and NZ miss out.
The satellite has a two bandwidth segments, a 250 kHz narrow band for modes like SSB, FreeDV, CW, RTTY etc, and a 8 MHz wide band for digital amateur TV (DATV) modes like DVB-S and DVB-T.
The downlink frequencies are at 10 GHz so a low cost TV LNB could be used as the antenna. For receiving the narrowband modes, an RTL-SDR or similar SDR could be used, and for the 8 MHz DATV modes a standard DVB-S2 set top box can be used to receive and decode the video. For uplink, the transmission frequency is at 2.4 GHz.
According to the commissioning order of the satellite, it is expected that the AMSAT transponders will be activated only after all tests have been passed, and after other higher priority commercial telecommunications systems have been activated. This is expected to take about 1-2 months.
Some clarifications to the article above:
– Es’hail-2 will be positioned at 26 degrees East, not 25.5 degrees where Es’hail-1 is located.
– The use of DVB-T in the wideband transponder is unlikely to be practical. The recommended modes are DVB-S2 and DVB-S, especially the amateur-developed Reduced-Bandwidth TV variants that can carry an HDTV picture in 500 KHz of bandwidth.
Wishing Telesat in Canada would allow the same thing on there geostationary satellites ? over North America. Amateur radio transponders similar to E-Hail . Built by amateur radio university students . So as to promote satellite technology. Congrats to the E-Hail team !. Sure miss AO-10 , AO-13 and AO-40 ! .
This is opening for the experimenter a new season of TV LNB and maybe power Wi-Fi modifications. And new pieces of commercial ham radio gear on the shelf for all the others 🙂